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IVC Filter Manufacturer Sued Over IVC Filter Death

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Statesville, NCThe front-runners in the IVC filter failure litigation file have, and continue to be C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, manufacturers of inferior vena cava filters that have been shown to variously fail. The Bard G2 IVC filter is oft-referenced, lawsuits over which are housed in multidistrict litigation.

However, Bard and Cook are not the only manufacturers associated with allegedly defective IVC filters and corresponding IVC filter lawsuits.

The Morning Call (04/01/17) reports on an IVC filter lawsuit filed by the family of a North Carolina man who is alleged to have suffered fatal injuries when an IVC filter failed.

The manufacturer in this instance is B. Braun Medical Inc. (Braun), a German manufacturer of medical devices. Braun was named along with a subsidiary, Aesculap Implant Systems in an IVC filter lawsuit filed March 31 in federal court in Charlotte.

According to court documents Keith A. Waters received a Braun filter to his inferior vena cava – the primary artery that returns deoxygenated blood from the lower extremities up to the heart and lungs – in 2015. At some point after the IVC filter was placed, the lawsuit alleges the device suffered a catastrophic failure, breaking apart. Pieces of the now-fragmented IVC filter migrated along the bloodstream to the victim’s heart and lungs.

The resulting blood clots are alleged to have hastened the death of Mr. Waters. Ironically, the IVC filter was designed to prevent the formation and migration of blood clots. The alleged failure of the Braun IVC filter is thought to have caused the blood clots the device was designed to ward against, or so it is alleged.

The IVC filter lawsuit alleges the manufacturers knew their IVC filter was defective and dangerous at the time the device was sold, resulting in the decision to use the device in Waters. The IVC filter lawsuit asserts defendants were negligent in producing and selling the filter and are liable for the alleged design defects inherent to the device, manufacturing defects, failing to warn of risks, breach of warranty and fraud. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for personal injury, medical expenses and lost earnings.

Last year, a similar lawsuit against Braun was filed in Philadelphia County Court by a New Jersey plaintiff who claims the Braun-manufactured inferior vena cava filter broke apart in his inferior vena cava artery, sending fragments migrating to vital organs. The lawsuit asserted fragments became lodged in the plaintiff’s heart, liver and aorta.

With two lawsuits in the pipeline, Braun is getting away relatively unscathed when compared with the thousands of cases against C.R. Bard and Cook Medical. The US Food and Drug Administration has gone on record as recommending in the most strenuous of terms that retrievable IVC filters – the most commonly used today – should be retrieved as soon as the threat of blood clot has passed, but at the outside within a couple of months at most following implantation. However many patients have gone far longer with their IVC filters in place. Many attempts of retrieval have ended in failure, with little hope of retrieving the device.

The IVC lawsuit is Waters v. B. Braun Medical, Inc. et al, Case # 5:2017-cv-00061, filed at North Carolina Western District Court, Statesville.

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